The marvels of technology never cease to amaze us, and the new printer created in an MIT lab adds to that state of bewilderedness. It’s not new to have 3D printers, but researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have definitely taken it up a notch with the Multifab.
Part of the projects developed at Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Multifab has the amazing ability to print up to ten different materials in one product. Some other fabulous capacities include printing around existing objects or even integrate new designs into them.
The technology used to create the Multifab shows promising benefits in advancing the industry of 3D printers. Current machines – more expensive or more professional than the MIT product – can only work with up to three materials at a time.
Adding on existing items is one of its most impressive abilities, as described by Javier Ramos, research engineer at CSAIL: “We use machine vision techniques to enhance or amplify the capabilities of current multi-material printing technology.”
Ramos is a co-author on the paper on Multifab with fellow researchers of Prof Wojciech Matusik’s Computational Fabrication Group. He explained that the 3D scanning technology incorporated in the new printer has the ability of printing objects at the impressive resolution or roughly 40 microns.
If you have trouble imagining that measurement unit, thing of less than half the width of a human hair and you’d be about right. Additionally, the printer can sense if the scanning process was less than accurate and can create, in consequence, “correction masks.”
The second most impressive ability of Multifab is the fact that it can produce a finished product – even though it has moving parts and complex components – in one fell swoop, with no need of help coming from the operating scientist.
Many of the products that were previously thought to be impossible to recreate through printing now have a chance of coming to life with Multifab. As Ramos said, the possibilities for manufacturing are endless with the new machine at hand, offering scientists and hobbyists alike almost unlimited creative power.
More than anything else, Multifab has advanced the 3D printing industry, enabling other developers and manufacturers to think outside the box and create similar printers that would prove useful to both retailers and consumers.
It even has uses in the home, but if people don’t have the money to buy one, stores could have it installed for people to submit their 3D files.
Image Source: Circulate News
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